Putin: right diagnostic, wrong cure

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neverfail
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Putin: right diagnostic, wrong cure

Post by neverfail » Thu Jun 23, 2022 4:54 am

This is possibly the most sensible overview of the situation I have read.

To think that world peace and the global food supply are both currently being placed in jeopardy because one powerful man wants to live in the past.
Ultimately what Putin seems to have neglected to consider is that his problem is not Ukraine; his problem is Russia

https://asiatimes.com/2022/06/putin-rig ... rong-cure/

In President Vladimir Putin’s world-vision, Russia has been humiliated, is surrounded and has nowhere to retreat to. He might well be right.

The Soviet Union was the ultimate expression of the Russian expansionism. On paper it was a “union.” In reality it was an empire, ruled from Moscow by an essentially Russian political establishment. The cement of the empire was the Soviet Communist Party, which in its quintessence was Russian. Granted Lenin had warned against “great Russian chauvinism,” but the admonition fell on deaf ears.

The aftermath of World War II saw the Empire expand its hold on Eastern Europe, an expansion that was instrumental in fueling a Cold War confrontation between the Empire and its Western counterpart led by the United States.

The Cold War was an exercise in equilibrium. It provided a frame that the parties were not to overstep, and as such brought a degree of predictability and hence of stability to international relations.

The collapse of the Soviet Union massively relaxed the constraints under which the United States had been operating until then. Granted there were some pockets of resistance such as North Korea, Afghanistan or Iran, but ultimately the 21st century started off as an American century.

From globalization to the power of the dollar, to Google, GPS, the Internet, what stood for the rule of law, technical innovation and the like ensured that the world now would be an American world.

Granted with few restraints to consider, Washington could unleash all its fury on Saddam Hussein or bring to its knees the Swiss banking system and the secrecy of the bank accounts that it harbored. But these were minor impingements that in no way affected the individual liberties or daily lives of those who dwelt under the umbrella of America’s global hegemony.

How the two main proponents of “socialism” reacted to the fall of the Soviet Union is a lesson of survival. Confronted with the collapse of what had been its Marxist model, the Communist Party of China reinvented itself. Though retaining its original name, it re-emerged as a one-party imperial endeavor in the hands of a ruling class whose essential motivation has been to retain power and that has enlisted development to ensure that it does so.

Conversely, while the Communist Party of the Soviet Union tried to rebrand itself as the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, it did not, for all practical purposes, survive the state that it had generated. This left Russia for all practical purposes on its knees.

While Putin can be credited with having put the Russian state back on is feet, the country under his rule has stagnated. Reduced to a population of some 150 million, it dwindled to the dimension of a mid-level power with a weak production facility and an economy that relied in essence on the export of raw materials such as energy and grain.

The collapse of the Soviet Union saw a McDonald’s open in Moscow. It was an instant success, and Muscovites queued up to gain access. Conversely, there was no Russian equivalent of McDonald’s opening in New York. What followed were all the trappings of a consumer society marching into Russia. It was to prove a one-way street, with Russia having nothing comparable to offer.

For someone like Putin, what occurred over the past 30 years was not so much an economic stagnation as the erosion of the Russian soul by a Western system of values that was not his and to which he could not relate. Thus, ultimately, the enemy was not NATO; it was McDonald’s, Vuitton, Google, not to say Mercedes, and the societies that had generated them.

This was an enemy from which nuclear weapons offered no protection. The only protection would have been the emergence of a new Russian society offering a level of attraction based on creativity, innovation, freedom of ideas, and with few restrictions on the expression of a diversity of opinions; a level of attractiveness that would offer a credible alternative to the one offered by the West.

But from a Vladimir Putin, as the product of a defunct system that knew no other way of managing diversity than to squash it, this was too much to ask.

The war in Ukraine is the logical development of Putin’s vision for Russia: using brute force rather than excellence to face down humiliation, with one additional caveat: force against what?

More than a country-to-country war, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is a generational conflict. Practically all the Ukrainians who are taking up arms have no recollection of the Soviet Union. Theirs is a national struggle against an enemy who might be a distant relative but to whom they don’t relate. And if they look toward the West, it is if anything because Russia, for them, has nothing to offer.

The marginalization of Russia started with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Though the Russian state survived, its marginalization endured because of the system’s inability to reinvent itself. Ukraine proved the apex of this malfunction.

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Re: Putin: right diagnostic, wrong cure

Post by Sertorio » Thu Jun 23, 2022 5:19 am

neverfail wrote:
Thu Jun 23, 2022 4:54 am
This is possibly the most sensible overview of the situation I have read.

To think that world peace and the global food supply are both currently being placed in jeopardy because one powerful man wants to live in the past.
Ultimately what Putin seems to have neglected to consider is that his problem is not Ukraine; his problem is Russia

https://asiatimes.com/2022/06/putin-rig ... rong-cure/

In President Vladimir Putin’s world-vision, Russia has been humiliated, is surrounded and has nowhere to retreat to. He might well be right.

The Soviet Union was the ultimate expression of the Russian expansionism. On paper it was a “union.” In reality it was an empire, ruled from Moscow by an essentially Russian political establishment. The cement of the empire was the Soviet Communist Party, which in its quintessence was Russian. Granted Lenin had warned against “great Russian chauvinism,” but the admonition fell on deaf ears.

The aftermath of World War II saw the Empire expand its hold on Eastern Europe, an expansion that was instrumental in fueling a Cold War confrontation between the Empire and its Western counterpart led by the United States.

The Cold War was an exercise in equilibrium. It provided a frame that the parties were not to overstep, and as such brought a degree of predictability and hence of stability to international relations.

The collapse of the Soviet Union massively relaxed the constraints under which the United States had been operating until then. Granted there were some pockets of resistance such as North Korea, Afghanistan or Iran, but ultimately the 21st century started off as an American century.

From globalization to the power of the dollar, to Google, GPS, the Internet, what stood for the rule of law, technical innovation and the like ensured that the world now would be an American world.

Granted with few restraints to consider, Washington could unleash all its fury on Saddam Hussein or bring to its knees the Swiss banking system and the secrecy of the bank accounts that it harbored. But these were minor impingements that in no way affected the individual liberties or daily lives of those who dwelt under the umbrella of America’s global hegemony.

How the two main proponents of “socialism” reacted to the fall of the Soviet Union is a lesson of survival. Confronted with the collapse of what had been its Marxist model, the Communist Party of China reinvented itself. Though retaining its original name, it re-emerged as a one-party imperial endeavor in the hands of a ruling class whose essential motivation has been to retain power and that has enlisted development to ensure that it does so.

Conversely, while the Communist Party of the Soviet Union tried to rebrand itself as the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, it did not, for all practical purposes, survive the state that it had generated. This left Russia for all practical purposes on its knees.

While Putin can be credited with having put the Russian state back on is feet, the country under his rule has stagnated. Reduced to a population of some 150 million, it dwindled to the dimension of a mid-level power with a weak production facility and an economy that relied in essence on the export of raw materials such as energy and grain.

The collapse of the Soviet Union saw a McDonald’s open in Moscow. It was an instant success, and Muscovites queued up to gain access. Conversely, there was no Russian equivalent of McDonald’s opening in New York. What followed were all the trappings of a consumer society marching into Russia. It was to prove a one-way street, with Russia having nothing comparable to offer.

For someone like Putin, what occurred over the past 30 years was not so much an economic stagnation as the erosion of the Russian soul by a Western system of values that was not his and to which he could not relate. Thus, ultimately, the enemy was not NATO; it was McDonald’s, Vuitton, Google, not to say Mercedes, and the societies that had generated them.

This was an enemy from which nuclear weapons offered no protection. The only protection would have been the emergence of a new Russian society offering a level of attraction based on creativity, innovation, freedom of ideas, and with few restrictions on the expression of a diversity of opinions; a level of attractiveness that would offer a credible alternative to the one offered by the West.

But from a Vladimir Putin, as the product of a defunct system that knew no other way of managing diversity than to squash it, this was too much to ask.

The war in Ukraine is the logical development of Putin’s vision for Russia: using brute force rather than excellence to face down humiliation, with one additional caveat: force against what?

More than a country-to-country war, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is a generational conflict. Practically all the Ukrainians who are taking up arms have no recollection of the Soviet Union. Theirs is a national struggle against an enemy who might be a distant relative but to whom they don’t relate. And if they look toward the West, it is if anything because Russia, for them, has nothing to offer.

The marginalization of Russia started with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Though the Russian state survived, its marginalization endured because of the system’s inability to reinvent itself. Ukraine proved the apex of this malfunction.
You, like so many people in the West, are totally incapable of correctly assessing someone like Putin. Demonizing Putin is so incredibly dumb that one is amazed so many western leaders insist on doing it. And because their assessment is faulty, their policies are disastrous. As we will soon see...

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Re: Putin: right diagnostic, wrong cure

Post by SteveFoerster » Thu Jun 23, 2022 5:50 am

Sertorio wrote:
Thu Jun 23, 2022 5:19 am
You, like so many people in the West, are totally incapable of correctly assessing someone like Putin. Demonizing Putin is so incredibly dumb that one is amazed so many western leaders insist on doing it. And because their assessment is faulty, their policies are disastrous. As we will soon see...
Didn't you just use Asia Times as a good source?
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Re: Putin: right diagnostic, wrong cure

Post by Sertorio » Thu Jun 23, 2022 8:26 am

SteveFoerster wrote:
Thu Jun 23, 2022 5:50 am
Sertorio wrote:
Thu Jun 23, 2022 5:19 am
You, like so many people in the West, are totally incapable of correctly assessing someone like Putin. Demonizing Putin is so incredibly dumb that one is amazed so many western leaders insist on doing it. And because their assessment is faulty, their policies are disastrous. As we will soon see...
Didn't you just use Asia Times as a good source?
The difference between us is that for me a "good source" is not the Gospel. I may disagree with what they say if my judgement tells me to do so...

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Re: Putin: right diagnostic, wrong cure

Post by SteveFoerster » Thu Jun 23, 2022 8:52 am

Sertorio wrote:
Thu Jun 23, 2022 8:26 am
SteveFoerster wrote:
Thu Jun 23, 2022 5:50 am
Sertorio wrote:
Thu Jun 23, 2022 5:19 am
You, like so many people in the West, are totally incapable of correctly assessing someone like Putin. Demonizing Putin is so incredibly dumb that one is amazed so many western leaders insist on doing it. And because their assessment is faulty, their policies are disastrous. As we will soon see...
Didn't you just use Asia Times as a good source?
The difference between us is that for me a "good source" is not the Gospel. I may disagree with what they say if my judgement tells me to do so...
What you're describing isn't judgement, it's bias.

I'll dismiss an article even from a credible source if it's clearly nonsense. After all, as you say, none are Gospel. But once a source develops a track record of publishing useful observations, I'm reluctant to be immediately dismissive of what's in it even if it's something I might not like. For example, if Reason has an article that I don't like (and that does happen), then I'll frown at it, but I'll still consider its points.

Authors make a big difference too. I might give something in the Washington Post a chance, for example, but it's from Taylor Lorenz I'll honestly probably just dismiss it, because she's repeatedly shown that she's not a serious person.
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Re: Putin: right diagnostic, wrong cure

Post by Sertorio » Thu Jun 23, 2022 10:07 am

SteveFoerster wrote:
Thu Jun 23, 2022 8:52 am
Sertorio wrote:
Thu Jun 23, 2022 8:26 am
SteveFoerster wrote:
Thu Jun 23, 2022 5:50 am
Sertorio wrote:
Thu Jun 23, 2022 5:19 am
You, like so many people in the West, are totally incapable of correctly assessing someone like Putin. Demonizing Putin is so incredibly dumb that one is amazed so many western leaders insist on doing it. And because their assessment is faulty, their policies are disastrous. As we will soon see...
Didn't you just use Asia Times as a good source?
The difference between us is that for me a "good source" is not the Gospel. I may disagree with what they say if my judgement tells me to do so...
What you're describing isn't judgement, it's bias.

I'll dismiss an article even from a credible source if it's clearly nonsense. After all, as you say, none are Gospel. But once a source develops a track record of publishing useful observations, I'm reluctant to be immediately dismissive of what's in it even if it's something I might not like. For example, if Reason has an article that I don't like (and that does happen), then I'll frown at it, but I'll still consider its points.

Authors make a big difference too. I might give something in the Washington Post a chance, for example, but it's from Taylor Lorenz I'll honestly probably just dismiss it, because she's repeatedly shown that she's not a serious person.
I have studied for many years, I have read - and still read - a lot, thinking was my work for many years, and I trust my intelligence to tell me when something is plausible or not. I do make mistakes - but not major ones - but I know I have most of the times been right about my assessment of things around me. I would never make the errors of judgement which you make on a daily basis. I would never underestimate Putin or Russia in the way which is so common to you. You are so often wrong because your reasoning is so often wrong about things you know nothing about. You know nothing about Russia, about Russian people, about Putin, about military things. You even know very little about the mind of people in your own country. You know very little about human nature as a whole. If you are honest - as I think you are - in the not so far future you will realize how wrong you were, and you may even recognize how right I was ( :D )... I find all the time people who think very much as I do about these things, not because they are as dumb as I am, but because they belong to that very small class of people who understand what is happening around them, who understand what makes people tick, and do not allow themselves to be fooled by appearances...People who will never swallow propaganda...

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Re: Putin: right diagnostic, wrong cure

Post by SteveFoerster » Thu Jun 23, 2022 11:03 am

I understand why, psychologically, it's important to you to believe those things. And I think I'll leave it at that.
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Re: Putin: right diagnostic, wrong cure

Post by Sertorio » Thu Jun 23, 2022 11:27 am

SteveFoerster wrote:
Thu Jun 23, 2022 11:03 am
I understand why, psychologically, it's important to you to believe those things. And I think I'll leave it at that.
It is not important to me to believe those things. And it's not a matter of belief. I know things are as I said. And you don't. Because our life experiences are very different. Because thinking has been the most important task of my life, while you were busy making a living...I never had an ideology and thus never felt I had to bend reality to fit my ideology. When something is white, I do not feel the need to make believe it is greyish, or pale yellow, or pink. It is white, period...

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Re: Putin: right diagnostic, wrong cure

Post by neverfail » Thu Jun 23, 2022 4:45 pm

Sertorio wrote:
Thu Jun 23, 2022 5:19 am
You, like so many people in the West, are totally incapable of correctly assessing someone like Putin. Demonizing Putin is so incredibly dumb that one is amazed so many western leaders insist on doing it. And because their assessment is faulty, their policies are disastrous. As we will soon see...
:lol:

Oh Sertorio; I merely re-published the article on this website for others to read and comment on (including you). The fact that you have so far written nothing to refute the case put forth by the author suggests that, though you might be loath to admit it, you agree with ALEXANDER CASELLA, the author.

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Re: Putin: right diagnostic, wrong cure

Post by SteveFoerster » Thu Jun 23, 2022 5:41 pm

neverfail wrote:
Thu Jun 23, 2022 4:45 pm
Sertorio wrote:
Thu Jun 23, 2022 5:19 am
You, like so many people in the West, are totally incapable of correctly assessing someone like Putin. Demonizing Putin is so incredibly dumb that one is amazed so many western leaders insist on doing it. And because their assessment is faulty, their policies are disastrous. As we will soon see...
:lol:

Oh Sertorio; I merely re-published the article on this website for others to read and comment on (including you). The fact that you have so far written nothing to refute the case put forth by the author suggests that, though you might be loath to admit it, you agree with ALEXANDER CASELLA, the author.
He's merely too busy with important things like reassuring us what a spectacular thinker he is.
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